Little research exists concerning the cognitive effects of exercise on elders with Alzheimer's dementia (AD), and none concerning late-stage AD. This study provides an initial investigation of the possible cognitive effects of a specialized exercise program for patients with late-stage AD. In a pretest/posttest design, patients participated in 20-minute movement groups. Results indicated a statistically significant decrease in patients' aphasia and/or agnosia following the program. This study is the first to indicate that movement has the ability to immediately affect the memory recall of patients with late-stage AD. These techniques may be used by caregivers seeking increased lucidity during interactions.
Shoshana Dayanim, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, Argosy University, Chicago, Illinois, and Research Associate, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia.
Address correspondence to: Shoshana Dayanim, PhD, Argosy University, 1400 Penn Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15222 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
This research was funded by a grant from the Thomas and Jeanne Elmezzi Foundation at Hebrew Hospital Home, Bronx, New York. Parts of this research were presented at the Annual International American Dance Therapy Conference in October 2000.